Samuel McGredy and Son, Nurserymen (Northern Ireland)
Photo courtesy of Cambridgelad
Owned by Sam McGredy, I, II, III & IV, in turn. Listing last updated on 01 Dec 2023.
Portadown, Northern Ireland
Samuel McGredy: 1861-1903. Note: The first McGredy nurseryman did not breed roses.
Samuel McGredy II: 1878-1926
Samuel Davidson McGredy III: 1897-1934
Walter Irwin Johnston 1934-1952 (The roses introduced 1935-1940 have been assigned to Samuel McGredy III)
Samuel Darragh McGredy IV: 1932-2019
In 1972, Sam McGredy IV Moved the nursery to Auckland, New Zealand and changed the name to McGredy Roses, International.
1951 The Rose Annual
p136. Around the Nurseries.
Samuel McGredy & Son, The Royal Nurseries, Portadown, N. Ireland.
The name of McGredy is an outstanding one in the world of Roses.....
[From The Makers of Heavenly Roses,by Jack Harkness, pp. 58-71:] The firm of Samuel McGredy & Son, Nurserymen, opened [in Portadown] in 1880, their specialties being fruit trees and bushes, and show pansies... Sam McGredy made a modest start at breeding roses about 1895, regarding it as more of a hobby than serious business; he raised two or three hundred seedlings a year... At last, in 1905, after about ten years' work, he decided to exhibit a few of his best [roses] in London... Sam McGredy on his first venture won a Gold Medal for his salmon pink rose 'Countess of Gosford'... From that day, rose breeding was the main purpose of his life... He won Gold Medals regularly; among the great roses he introduced were the white 'Mrs. Herbert Stevens', 1910; the yellow 'Golden Emblem', 1917; and in 1918, the yellow 'Christine', the orange 'Emma Wright' and, in red and yellow, 'The Queen Alexandra Rose', the latter 'by special request named after our beloved Queen Alexandra'. She was the Royal Patron of the National Rose Society... Sam's parentages, however were not as simple as they seemed because, like Dicksons, he used many of his own seedlings... He was awarded the National Rose Society's Dean Hole Medal in 1921... The rose world dubbed him 'The Irish Wizard'... Sam McGredy died suddenly in April 1926, while some of his finest roses still awaited introduction... Samuel Darragh McGredy [son of Samuel Davison McGredy] was born in 1932... Sam III died in November, 1934. He was only thirty-eight. [Sam IV was only two years old]...
It was fortunate that Ivy, the sister of Sam III, had married a man named Walter Johnson. He proved able to take control of the business, and to discharge his trust with honor and efficiency It is no discredit to any of the trustees, one of whom was the recently widowed Ruth McGredy, that the breeding began to be less successful. It takes a practiced eye to be a rose breeder. Had the reverse been true, it would have suggested that anyone could do it.
[From Botanica's Roses, p. 678:] McGredy, Sam II, III and IV (Northern Ireland and, then New Zealand). The McGredy firm has been going since the 1890s with S. McGredy & Son, Portadown [Northern Ireland] up to 1972, and McGredy Roses International, Auckland [New Zealand].
[From the American Rose Annual 1950, p. 187:] McGredy, Samuel, & Son, Portadown, North Ireland
[From Modern Roses 10, p. 723:] Samuel McGredy & Son, Ltd., Portadown, Ireland.